Watch the Consistency & Simplicity online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Rhythm Revolution
Something that is really important to digest and also is kind of a relief is keeping things simple in your approach to rhythm. There's no harm in repeating yourself. My favorite example of this, for instance, is if you are a rhythm guitarist, rhythm is the key word, guitarist is the second word. Rhythm is the key word. And a drummer and a bass player, they are very accustomed to just laying something simple down and keeping it running through a piece of music. Almost to the point to where you wouldn't necessarily notice them. So rhythm guitar has that same quality. You want to be in a pocket, you want to be in a supportive role and the key to performing that role is to keep things consistent in your playing, not a lot of variety. There's no need to play a lot of different chords. There's no need to play a lot of different rhythms. But to keep something running, a consistent thread running through, just as the drummer does and just as the bass player does. One of the great bass players, Abraham LaBoriel, is a very old friend and his bass teacher told him to think of himself as a bass drum. What a great piece of advice. When he said that to me it really struck a note for me in that you are kind of like one part of a mechanism that's working. You're the carburetor or the alternator. The car, people are digging the car, you're a part of that and keeping it running. So, simple, less is more, and remember that you are a supportive player in this position as a rhythm guitarist.